Blue Jays’ Stroman says confrontation with Anderson made ‘zero sense’

Marcus Stroman talks with the media after the Blue Jays beat the White Sox 8-4 and goes over his heated exchange with Tim Anderson.

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman says the confrontation with Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson that led to a bench-clearing incident on Tuesday made “zero sense” to him.

Anderson, meanwhile, described the incident by saying Stroman “complains and cries like he always does.”

With the Blue Jays leading 8-4 in the seventh inning, Anderson called time out on a 1-2 pitch from Stroman, who raised his hands after it was granted while he was in the middle of his delivery.

The Blue Jays right-hander then struck out Anderson swinging on the next pitch. The two began staring at each other as Anderson walked back to the dugout and after words were exchanged, the benches of both teams emptied.

The teams were separated quickly and the fracas did not extend beyond yelling.

Following the game, Stroman was asked what happened.

“Couldn’t tell you,” Stroman said. “It seemed like [Anderson] wanted to talk the entire way back to the dugout after striking out. I got the ball back from [Josh] Donaldson after throwing the ball around and [Anderson] was still continuing to talk. So I asked him what he was saying and he continued to talk more so I walked to the dugout. I thought he had a problem but I don’t understand why he would be running his mouth walking back to the dugout.

“It made zero sense to me.”

Anderson, a 24-year-old in his second major-league season, gave his version of events and said he felt disrespected by Stroman when the pitcher reacted to him stepping out of the batter’s box and calling time out.

“Just the way he carried himself, I felt like I felt disrespected,” Anderson told reporters, according to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. “I had to do what I had to do.

“It was one of those things I stepped out and he just complains and cries like he always does. That’s what it led to.”

This marks the second straight start Stroman has been involved in a controversial episode on the mound. In his previous outing, against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday, the 26-year-old was ejected for arguing balls and strikes, prompting an intense argument with home plate umpire Will Little.

Stroman declined to speak about that incident following the game last week, but did discuss his general demeanour on the mound.

“I’m an emotional guy,” Stroman said. “I’m going to continue to be myself regardless of who doesn’t like it, who likes it. I’m always going to be myself, regardless, from here on out.

“I’m emotional, that’s how I pitch.”

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